Efficiency Ratings: Game 4

As the Blue Devils progress through the season there will be many different theories on how to measure team success. TDD has adopted the NBA Efficiency Formula to track Duke's top players and performances after each game and throughout the season.

A quick way NBA coaches measure a player's game performance is by evaluating his efficiency. In order to find a player's efficiency the following formula is used:

((Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) - ((Field Goals Att. - Field Goals Made) + (Free Throws Att. - Free Throws Made) + Turnovers)).

For example, compare the following stat lines:

Player A: 17 points (5-of-22 FG, 7-9 FT), 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers.

Player B: 15 points (5-8 FG, 3-4 FT), 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 turnovers

Who had the better game? Using the NBA formula player B, who hit five of eight shots and committed two turnovers registered a +20 efficiency total while Player A who missed 17 shots and had four turnovers had just a +11 rating.

For reference, last year LeBron James posted the two most efficient games of the season with a +54 (37 points on 11-of-17 FG & 9-10 FT, 12 rebounds, 11 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, and 2 turnovers) and +50 (40 points on 16-of-23 FG & 6-6 FT, 8 rebounds, 8 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks, and 2 turnovers) rating.

In the first true test of the season the Blue Devils overcame a season high 19 turnovers to beat Marquette 82-77. Duke coughed up the ball on offense 19 times which allowed the Golden Eagles to overcome an early 14 point deficit, eventually tying the game three times in the second half. The big positive from the evening came in the form of Mason Plumlee's career high 25 points.

v. Marquette
(change from previous game)

*-Thornton did check in during the final minute of action for defensive purposes but played less than one minute
Notes: Mason Plumlee posted the best and most efficient game of the season for himself and for the team through four games. His +36 rating currently serves as the high total on the year, surpassing Kyrie Irving's +26 performance against Colgate in the previous game. Irving, who turned the ball over a career high five times against Marquette, saw a nine point drop in his efficiency rating while Kyle Sinlger's rating dropped four points after the All-American shot just 5-of-13 from the field and 2-of-7 from the perimeter. Despite a team high six turnovers, Nolan Smith posted a strong +18 score thanks in large part to his nine rebounds. The Blue Devils are still searching for a consistent compliment to Plumlee in the post as Miles Plumlee (+1) and Ryan Kelly (+4) proved somewhat ineffective against the Eagles' smaller, quicker lineups. Similarly it was the least efficient night of Seth Curry's young Duke career as the third year sophomore posted a +1.

Throughout the season TDD will track the various highs and lows using the formula.

Five Most Efficient Performances

  • Mason Plumlee v. Marquette (+36)
  • Kyrie Irving v. Princeton (+26)
  • Nolan Smith v. Princeton (+25)
  • Kyle Singler v. Princeton (+23)
  • Kyrie Irving v. Colgate (+22)

Five Least Efficient Performances*

  • Josh Hairston v. Miami (Ohio) (+0)
  • Miles Plumlee v. Princeton (+1)
  • Miles Plumlee v. Miami (Ohio) (+1)
  • Miles Plumlee v. Marquette (+1)
  • Seth Curry v. Marquette (+1)
*- players must play at least 2 minutes or factor into the box score in some what to be considered for per game E-ratings

Cumulative Season ratings for the Blue Devils. (E/game)

  • Nolan Smith +80 (20.0)
  • Kyrie Irving +79 (19.8)
  • Mason Plumlee +75 (18.8)
  • Kyle Singler +59 (14.8)
  • Andre Dawkins +47 (11.8)
  • Seth Curry +42 (10.5)
  • Ryan Kelly +32 (8.0)
  • Miles Plumlee +18 (4.5)
  • Tyler Thornton +16 (5.3)
  • Josh Hairston +8 (2.7)

Notes: Nolan Smith regains the top spot from Kyrie Irving on the season efficiency ratings though it's a close race. The biggest jump was Mason Plumlee whose +36 score against Marquette vaults him into striking distance of both guards as the team's most efficient player. Senior forward Kyle Singler has struggled from the field thus far which has dropped his box score statistics and this his efficiency rating under this formula though the program's metrics have him rated much higher as they track things such as deflections, charges taken, etc. The secondary post threat has yet to be identified as Miles Plumlee and Ryan Kelly combined are posting less E/game ratings than Mason Plumlee (18.8 compared to 12.5).

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